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Port of Seattle Expands Its Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking
The Port of Seattle introduced a new comprehensive port-wide strategy to combat human trafficking through its facilities, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and throughout the region. Once fully implemented, this strategy would not only position the port as a regional leader on the issue, but also one of the top ports in the country implementing anti-trafficking efforts.
The port’s strategy will focus on four areas: ensuring all employees have access to training and education; utilizing port facilities and communications channels to raise public awareness; collaborating with nonprofits, government agencies and private sector partners to maximize impact; and ensuring port policies and procedures are up to date to report suspicion of human trafficking.
"Human trafficking is not just a global issue, it’s a local issue," said Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commission President. "The port has been engaged in this topic for years but now is the perfect opportunity to increase our regional leadership on this topic. As a major employer, an operator of an airport and maritime facilities, and a partner, we can do more to reduce demand, assist victims and raise public awareness."
A 2012 International Labour Organization study estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally: 68% of them are trapped in forced labor, 26% of them are children, and 55% are women and girls. A 2016 U.S. Department of Labor report identified 139 goods from 75 countries made by forced and child labor.
"It is my hope that other ports and regions will take note of the collaboration between the Port of Seattle and advocates," said Kyra Doubek, CSEC Behavioral Health Specialist for KYFS, and survivor of domestic sex trafficking. "Noteworthy is their commitment to develop policies around any involvement in human trafficking activities. Only through partnership and commitment can we create lasting change. As an employer committed to growing to 300,000 employees, the port is uniquely positioned to create a culture and set an example in our state and region for how to conduct business and contribute to social equity and safety. The port is sending a clear message to traffickers and sex buyers: not in our state, not in our facilities."
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